Investigation Discovery Revisits the OJ Simpson Trial 20 Years Later

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Investigation Discovery

Investigation Discovery reexamines the OJ Simpson trial 20 years after the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman with OJ: Trial of the Century airing on June 12, 2014 at 8pm. Every Hill Films produced the documentary on the murder trial that had a nation riveted to their televisions, and Nicole Rittenmeyer (9/11: The Days After, JFK: 3 Shots that Changed America, 102 Minutes that Changed America) served as executive producer.

“OJ represented a watershed moment for this country’s perception of the legal system and, indeed, a transformative event in the racial and social history of our nation,” stated Henry Schleiff, Group President of Investigation Discovery, American Heroes Channel, Destination America, and Discovery Fit & Health. “While twenty years later, many questions still linger, this powerful documentary turns back the clock to allow viewers to experience this unique trial’s intensity firsthand.”

The Details:

Whether you were pulled over in snarled traffic on a Los Angeles freeway or watching from home as regularly scheduled television programming was interrupted, people still vividly remember where they were during the police chase for OJ Simpson in the infamous, white Ford Bronco. More than 95 million watched. The OJ story dominated American dialogue and generated millions of dollars in revenue. Careers were launched, shattered, and sometimes reborn. Yet when it was over, Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman were still dead, no one was punished and deep fault lines of bigotry and bias had been exposed in white and black America. For some, the OJ trial was a judicial catastrophe; for others, a long-sought, tide-turning victory. But beyond all the endless media coverage and polarizing debate, the trial made a nation take another look at justice, race, domestic violence and the power of wealth.

Presented under the ID FILMS banner, OJ: Trial of the Century follows the real-life soap opera that was the Simpson case as it played out like an episodic work of dramatic fiction. In a stylistic approach favored by executive producer Rittenmeyer, the documentary relies on contemporaneous archival material alone to illustrate the course of events. Without the interruption of modern interviews to provide hindsight, Rittenmeyer’s storytelling triggers the same raw emotion and real-time perspective as when the events transpired all those years ago.

By asking viewers to “re-live” the case as it played out at the time, ID introduces a new generation of viewers to the stranger-than-fiction narrative that captivated our collective national conscience. And for the audience that lived it the first time, there are two decades’ worth of historical, legal and psychological ramifications to this story that continue to make it a cultural touchstone and reference point for countless criminal proceedings, news media commentary as well as even late-night TV comedy.

This is the story of how an event – the prosecution and then acquittal of a man accused of double homicide – became the first nationally televised soap opera of tangled and salacious plotlines that would beget countless others. Perhaps more significantly, it was also a flashpoint for debate, disagreement, and disillusionment and the ultimate allegory for tensions that continue to face American society today.


Source: Investigation Discovery

-By Rebecca Murray

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Rebecca Murray

Rebecca Murray

Editor in Chief at Showbiz Junkies
Journalist covering the entertainment industry for 19+ years, including 13 years as the first writer for About.com's Hollywood Movies site. Member of the Broadcast Television Journalists Association, Broadcast Film Critics Association, Alliance of Women Film Journalists, and President of the San Diego Film Critics Society.
Rebecca Murray
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